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Cole Anthony: Consumate Teammate

The former UNC point guard always boosts his teammates’ confidence, but is there a limit to what he can achieve with them off the court?

NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Cole Anthony was only in Chapel Hill for one season, but he made his presence felt. Not only was he the center of Carolina’s basketball constellation, but he was the biggest personality in every room he walked into. The man is positive, charismatic, and just oozes out good vibes.

UNC fans may remember that his season was the tragic 2019-20 one that saw the Tar Heels finish with a 14-19 record. They were spared the indignity of missing the NCAA Tournament due to the pandemic, but it was a hard fall for a team that finished the previous season with a #1 seed in the Midwest, and top-ten preseason ranking. Cole Anthony burst onto the national scene with a blockbuster 34-point performance (with six made 3’s!) and Carolina was ranked as high as #5 before the wheels fell off.

Before the team headed to the Bahamas for the “Battle 4 Atlantis” tournament, Cole Anthony told reporters that he felt UNC was a “Final Four team.” Despite having perimeter support from Christian Keeling, Justin Pierce, and Andrew Platek, Anthony was insistent that Carolina was just a step away. Whether he believed that or not, Cole Anthony deserves a lot of credit for never sulking about his supporting cast, and he gassed them up whenever he could.

After Cole got drafted by the Orlando Magic, he immediately showed that kind of camaraderie with his new professional teammates. His energy is infectious, and some of his post-game interviews after big wins have become must-see TV:

Cole’s personality, and improving game with the Magic has made him a fan favorite in Orlando. It’s gotten to the point that some local fans may think that Cole, famously supportive of his teammates, can accomplish just about anything.

Take for example this recent post from @MagicMan816. The Orlando Magic hold the #1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, and there is a lot of support for drafting Gonzaga big man Chet Holmgren, who stands 7’0” but only weights 190 pounds. After fouling out in Gonzaga’s loss to Arkansas in the Sweet Sixteen, the skinny big man could probably use a boost in confidence. Enter Cole Anthony...

It goes without saying that Chet would have Paolo levels of swag after a weekend running with Cole! Those who know for certain are surely sworn to secrecy, but I’d guess that this is not far from the truth. Does Cole have anything to say to refute these rumors?

I guess we’ll never know. Maybe Brandon Robinson or Leaky Black can shed some light on this?